Getting Things Done on a School Holiday

"School Holiday" – these two words bring joy to the hearts of kids and throw a loop into the schedules of working parents.  My kids are home today, enjoying a three day weekend.  One of them, the sixteen year old football player, seems to have his mind set on staying in his pajamas until football practice at 3:30 – good for him!  Our kids' schedules are so crazy these days that taking a day off just to relax is a rare, and greatly needed, treat.

Since I work at home, I'm fortunate to be able to shift my schedule to accommodate this day off for my kids.  They're also old enough to be able to keep themselves entertained for a good portion of the day to enable me to get a little work done.  Here are a few ideas for GTD when the kids are home from school for the day:

  • Plan ahead – Be sure you have marked days off of school on your calendar and made contingency plans for day care if necessary.  Sounds like a no-brainer, right?  You'd be surprised at the people who let things like this sneak up on them.
  • Plan for diversions – My kids go at such a hectic pace that they love just hanging out at home for a relaxing day, but yours may be the type who require more entertainment than that.  Invite a buddy over to play, plan a date with friends to have an outing, or enroll your child in a fun day long activity or camp.
  • Plan your schedule – To maximize the time you can spend as a family on your kids' day off, start work earlier in the morning or plan a later night than usual.  Block off the bulk of the day and be sure not to schedule any appointments or conference calls.  List "must do" actions and work smart to get them checked off quickly and efficiently.
  • Plan to do something fun – It's a day off, right?  Take a break and enjoy being with your children!  Work will be waiting for you to return, but these precious opportunities to have fun with our kids should be top priority.

Whether it's Columbus Day or a snow day, "no school" shouldn't mean "no fun".  Be sure to communicate with your children about any items you have that absolutely must get done and discuss with them how they'd like to spend their free time.  Then enjoy your kids' day off with them.


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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